Posted on 8 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Saiunkoku Monogatari


I can sort-of understand why people often are reluctant to check out very lengthy series. After all, they’re a huge commitment and it’s very hard to tell whether it will turn out worthwhile or not if you have to sit through more than sixty episodes. Series like Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Ball Z and Inuyasha went on and on, amidst pointless fillers, and just could have gotten so much better if they were just 1/4th of their original length.

Still, let me say that for every lengthy series that screws up, you can always find a lengthy series that’s absolutely worth the commitment. Take Legend of Galactic Heroes, Gintama, or any of the World Masterpiece series. And of course Saiunkoku Monogatari. It’s set in a world, reminiscent of ancient China, and follows Shuurei, as she tries to be the first female govermnent official, in a male-dominated society.

Of course, there’s much more to the story than just that. The series starts out as an innocent shoujo love-drama, but soon enough this series shows its josei-roots and develops its huge cast of characters perfectly. Be sure to expect lots of politics. The different arcs are very different from each other, and they’re more than enough to keep this series interesting though its entire run. And of course, there’s quite a bit of romance as well, but don’t expect standard Shoujo-romance here. Quite often, you see two characters who are in love with each other, yet can never be together due to their social status, or the things they did in the past.

I do want to note, though, that some parts of this series are less interesting than others. Saiunkoku Monogatari has a couple of incredibly deep and well-developed characters, but it needs to build up a lot in order to achieve this. There will be a few arcs that aren’t that special, other than that they build up for some amazing scenes, later on in the series. It’s also a shame that the final quarter of the series builds up to a third season that’ll probably arrive in two or three years. The final few episodes also showcase some dramatic budget-problems, with three recap-episodes within twenty episodes, so that’s also something to take into account.

Still, despite the flaws, Saiunkoku remains a versatile and engaging series. If you liked The Twelve Kingdoms (I haven’t seen the series myself, but I hear from everywhere that that’s another excellent series), you’ll definitely like this series. Now all that’s left is to wait a few years for the third season to arrive!

Posted on with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


What a wonderful episode to close off the second series! This was hands down, the best episode ever since Shuurei got back from the Sa-clan. Thank you, Madhouse, for not leaving a bad taste at the end, while we have to wait who knows how many years for season three. The end of the episode closed off quite a few storylines, and yet it hinted that there’s still so much more to come. I really hope that the creators will realize this, and haven’t planned to end this series here.

But still, finally this series is over. For the past two years, it’s been my top-source of google-hits and out of all the series I’ve blogged, Saiunkoku Monogatari has received by far the most page-views, even comparing this to Death Note and Claymore. No other series also has as many posts as this one, although I guess that Jigoku Shoujo and Higurashi will come quite close when their third season finishes. Really, it’s sad to see this series gone now. I’ll put it on finished for now, until we get some real confirmations that a third season is under production.

It was also a delight to see Kouyuu and Shuuei back together. The two of them form such a great team with their banter. Suou also seems to have moved his family to the countryside, while he carries out some kind of mission for Kouki. We also learn that Anju is none other than Kouki’s ally. But the best part of the episode was of course seeing Ryuuki and Shuurei back together. It draws quite a parallel with episode 39 of the first season, which also ended with a similar series, but this time, Ryuuki’s development made that scene so different. Back then, he was just a weak little coward, screaming for Shuurei’s affection, but now he really seems to have accepted his task as an emperor. He’s now not just trying to become a good emperor because of Shuurei, and that’s what he realized when he was in the Ran-province.

Now, if you excuse me, I have to go write a review that does this series justice. ^^;

Posted on 1 March 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


I’m not exactly sure why… this episode was a clear aftermath and yet I found it was one of the most enjoyable ones of the third arc so far. I originally thought that seeing Shuuei and Ryuuki develop would be the best thing about the final episodes of the second season, but seeing them actually use this development turned out much more interesting.

Overall, the Kouki-arc just didn’t match up to the Government-Official-arc and the Sa-Province-arc, but that’s only logical. I now see that this arc is far from over, and all that the episodes have been doing is building up. Even the past few mini-arcs were just meant to develop the cast, and to make them ready for the real meat of this arc. It’s just like the Sa-province arc. The first twenty-or-so episodes also were a bit disappointing at times, and Sakujun took a lot of episodes to become likable, but the second half of that arc, with the disease and all simply rocked.

I really hope that Madhouse will continue next year with the third season for Saiunkoku Monogatari. There are just too many interesting plot-points unresolved to not let it happen: there’s Ouki, who’ll be trying more and more to take over the throne, which will bring Kouki, Seiga, Shuurei and Suou more to the foreground as they will definitely be asked to investigate and prevent this takeover. Then there’s the Bara-hime storyline with the big Riou and of course the big mystery about Sakujun’s whereabouts. Furthermore, we still haven’t seen anything of the plans to marry Kouyuu out to Shuurei. Then there’s also Seiga, who majorly lacks in development, considering how important his character is. Overall, that’s more than enough to fill a third season and close this story off properly. Please, Madhouse, don’t abandon this series just yet!

On other news, I was pretty surprised that Shouka didn’t prepare any explanation whatsoever to Shuurei about what the heck he was doing when Ryuuki wandered off on his own. I doubt that he would never make such a mistake to anyone other than Shuurei and Bara-hime. I think that that’s one of the reasons why he originally fell in love with Bara-hime. Somehow, he just couldn’t get his assassin-act together in front of her. ^^;

Posted on 23 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Now this is what I’ve been hoping for! This episode was terrific in terms of storyline. So many things happened at once, and finally the building-up of the previous half year is paying ff. But still, it’s so sad to see that the budget-problems become more and more apparent. Such a major episode should be paired with terrific animation, like what we saw around the climax of the first half of the second season. Instead, the creators treated us to lots of distance-shots, thick lines and still frames. I really don’t like the trend that MadHouse has been setting to screw up their adaptations as they draw near their end! I mean, they’ve got excellent staff, but I’m getting more and more the feeling that it’s their producers who are incredibly lazy.

Well, putting that aside, another reason why I loved this episode was because it again was quite easy to understand. The ship with Ensei, Suou, Shurei and Ryuuren crashes off a waterfall. As everyone becomes conscious again, Ryuuren goes off to find some springs for water, after which Shun comes to pick up Shuurei, by the orders of his master. His orders were to take just Shuurei away, so Ensei and Suou stay behind and collect supplies for the way back.

As Shuurei and Shun walk up the mountain to the castle, Shuurei asks whether he’s heard about Shiba Jin, though Shun says that she had the wrong person. The two then enter the castle, and Shun brings Shurei to the prison cell where Ryuuki lies. Shuurei is really glad to see that he’s fine, though before she has the time to call out to him, Shusui appears, using the same spell that failed, twenty episodes ago. Shuurei then falls unconscious and gets taken away.

We then switch to Ryuuki, who’s finally woken up. Right next to him stands a Shusui, who claims that she’s possessed by a member of the Hyou-clan, which is why she’s acting so weird. I guess she was an easy target for them, because she already lost herself before. In any case, Shusui begins to taunt Ryuuki at how he’s incompetent at his job, and how he should just give up. After this, Ryuki begins to develop even more. That night on the mountains has really convinced him what an idiot he’s been, and he’s determined to now become a real king.

Then, Ran appears. It indeed seems that he’s been following Ryuuki all along, and after hearingt his confession, he decides to step in and save Ryuuki from Shushui. After this, the Hyou-member orders Shun to take care of Ryuuki, leaving the body afterwards. Shusui then turns into her fighter-mode again and starts chasing after Shuuei. Juusanhime also arrives to stop her, after which quite a funny conversation follows, where Shuuei ends up using a dirty trick to remind Shusui of Shouka. After a few slaps from Shuuei, Shusui returns to normal.

Juusanhime then stays to fight Shun, while Shuuei, Ryuuki and Shusui escape. When they are out of the castle, Shusui goes back in to save Shuurei. Shuuei then brings Ryuuki back to Suou, and goes back along with Ryuren to save Shuurei. Ensei went ahead of them, as he seemed to have the same idea. As Ryuuki wakes up, he wants to go back to save Shuurei, though Suou stops him. After all, he’s the king and everyone just went through the trouble of saving him. After hearing this, he finally understands a new part of his responsibilities.

Meanwhile, back in the castle Shuurei is still unconscious. The member of the Ryou-clan seems to be called Ruka, and it was basically her plan to use Ryuuki to lure the Bara-hime in Shuurei towards her. It’s here where Shouka in scary-mode appears again, and breaks some kind of mirror that’s important for Ruka. Strangely enough, Ruka doesn’t seem to be shocked by this, so at least something must have gone according to her plan. In another part of the Castle, Juusanhime now gets the chance to finally say goodbye to Shiba Jin, as it really seems that he works for the enemy and he’s out to kill Ryuuki. That scene seriously rocked.

There’s one thing I don’t understand, though: what’s the real relationship between Shun and Shusui? Where did they meet each other? Is Shun the reason Shusui gets possessed? Which Shusui went along with Shun to the castle? Did she come on her own accord, or was she already possessed by Ruka back then?

In any case, let’s hope that the final two episodes end the second season with a bang, so that the creators can return in a year or two to finish this story. With such a fan-base, there’s a good chance that it’ll happen some day. But then again, Claymore was even more popular, needed a second season even more badly and there are still no signs of any continuation… which leaves me kind-of worried.

Posted on 16 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


There are three episodes left. Then, what the heck is a recap-episode doing here? This shows more and more that the creators just need to take a break for a year, and get their budgets and planning fully sorted out, because right now it seems that they just can’t keep up with their own schedule. Unfortunately, the planning-department of Madhouse just isn’t as good as that of for example Nippon Animation, which basically showcased Les Miserables without any break or recap at all, and looks to do the same for Porfy no Nagai Tabi.

The only new scenes are of Ryuuki, developing and reflecting on his own actions. Thankfully, this made the episode not a total waste of time, but this remains lazy on the creator’s side. Thankfully, the development that Ryuuki went through was very good, and the episode prepared really well for the final three episodes.

My main worry is that Madhouse has become infamous for screwing up slightly with their adaptations. For most part, they adapt faithfully, but when it comes to the details, you can always see cut corners. This isn’t like Gonzo, where they basically rewrite more than half of the original source-material; with Madhouse, the changes just feel lazy. Just a few examples:
– Shigurui: Entire final chapters left unanimated, with no intention to do so either.
– Devil May Cry: turned into random plotless fillers.
– Claymore: went with an original story after episode 21 and changed from an engaging plot to a cheesy final battle.
– Death Note: a rushed second half with many pages omitted.
– Gunslinger Girl: no intentions to animate the plot-heavy second half of the manga, so they went with their own ending.
– Pet Shop of Horrors: Just four chapters animated, no information on main character whatsoever.

I think you can understand my worries. Right now, Saiunkoku Monogatari really needs a second season, but I can’t help but fear that Madhouse will screw up with the little details again, and it’s such a pity to see this happen, right when we’re about to hit such an rumoured excellent part of the original novels.

Posted on 9 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


There are just two things I don’t like about Saiunkoku Monogatari: the fact that the slow subs have forced me to watch it raw, meaning that I don’t understand half of most of the episodes without Impz’s help, and all these random hiatuses it’s been having. For the past few months, I realized that it’s really important for this series to continue on a weekly basis, otherwise it loses me a bit in the middle of the action. Thankfully, it seems that the final episodes of the second season won’t have anymore random hiatuses like that, so that eliminates the second point for now. ^^;

And really, Ryuuki stole the show this episode! Finally, he’s actually starting to develop, along with Juusanhime. His sadness on the boat towards Shuuei really surprised me, and it seems that he’s really regretting how he ran away from all of his responsibilities, yet again. There’s even a possibility that he won’t be able to return as the king, which is especially unnerving, considering that a few episodes back, we saw that one of these guys had plans to take over Ryuuki’s throne.

In her turn, Juusanhime finally reveals her history with Shiba Jin. It seems that at one point, her mother died (of which circumstances, I don’t know, though; I’m not even sure whether that was revealed). Shiba Jin was then sent to kill her off too, but he couldn’t. Eventually, after three days if I picked this up correctly, Shiba Jin ended up cutting out his own eye and went along with her to the main house of the Ran Clan, and ever since the two had been in love. The two of them spent most of their childhood years together, along with Shuuei, but at one point Jin killed his own father. I’m not sure why, but if I had to guess, then it’d be because he tried to do something against Juusanhime. Probably to finish the task that Jin never could complete.

Posted on 2 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Haha! This has to be the most comprehensible Saiunkoku Monogatari-episode I’ve seen in months. Finally I can understand things again without the help of Impz’s summaries. ^^; Sure, there were a few things that I didn’t pick up, but I’m glad enough that at least this episode didn’t feel like a giant Rubik’s Cube.

The episode starts after what happened at the end of the last episode, and Ensei cheers Shuurei up a bit. He then also agrees to go along with her to the Ran-clan. Ensei also notices that Shuurei hasn’t been sleeping well, so he forces her to go to sleep, while Seiran notices this and threatens to kill the guy. After this, Seiran asks Ensei to make sure that Shuurei returns safely from the Ran-clan.

We then switch to Shouka, Juusanhime and Ryuuki, leaving the capital, with Seiran and Yuushun seeing them off. The next scene is between Shuurei and Ki Kouki, who asks Shuurei that now that she’s going to the Ran-province anyway, that she should investigate a guy named “Shiba Jin”, and I think that Shuurei knows fully well what this means if she goes in too deep, and Juusanhime’s lover might get arrested if she does her job of investigating too well. He also orders her to bring back a few souvenirs, and to not go after Ryuuki if he decides to agree with his engagement with Juusanhime. When Shuurei runs off, she passes Seiga, and the guy has a really suspicious grin on his face while she passes him.

Next up, we see Ensei, Shuurei and Suou in a carriage, heading to the port. They then get surprised by an overly worried father of Suou, who underwent a total change of characters since we saw him first. It seems that he’s really proud of his son now, and he’s still thankful to Shuurei on how sh got him out of prison, it seems. At least, I think that Shuurei was the one who did that, I could be wrong. In any case, he entrusts Suou to Shuurei for the trip. ^^;

The next scene shows Shun and Shusui, as they too seem to be heading for the Ran-province. Shusui isn’t doing well, though, and she struggles to go up the mountains. For some reason, Shun also puts up an eye-patch, to cover for the eye he’s missing. Shusui then mentions a number of strange characters, though that story is one I couldn’t pick up. What’s important, though, is that at one point, she gets possessed again by that strange thing that got hold of her a few episodes back. She calls this thing “Ruka-sama”.

Shuuei has meanwhile finally arrived at the Ran-palace. His triplet-brothers aren’t there, but his brother Ryuuren and his sister Gyoku (I think that’s how she was called) are present. Ryuuren takes off into the woods again, and Shuuei gets to reuinite with his sister. The thing is that he wasn’t really keen on that, and for some reason he was reluctant to meet her. I didn’t pick up exactly why, as she seemed like a really nice person (they even played together when they were kids), though if I had to guess then he did some thing to hurt her in the past. I didn’t pick up what exactly that was, though. Also, Setsuna, is that the name of one of Shuuei’s triplet-brothers, or is that yet another of his brothers?

The episode ends with the ship on which Shuurei, Suou and Ensei are sailing in order to get to the Ran-province. Suou gets seasick, and Ensei’s remedy is basically to knock the guy out so that he’s unconscious during the trip. ^^; The ship then gets struck by a whirlpool that the area is famous for. According to a local legend, one person once threw a manju in the whirlpools and they disappeared. For some reason, Shuurei thinks that this legend is important somehow.

On a side-note, those whirlpools were really badly animated, but then again, this is Madhouse. Their animation is either incredibly good or incredibly bad, and you can really see in this episode that it was meant to save a bit of animation-budget.

Posted on 26 January 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Okay, so this may not be the best series to watch with a headache. The dialogue is hard enough as it is, and that headache didn’t make things better. Still, at least I’m glad that Saiunkoku Monogatari seems to be back again. I’m really starting to get impatient with this series. I want to see Ryuuki develop already! I know it’s close, but it had already been close two freaking months ago. With all the hiatuses from this series, I’d really wish that this series would hurry up and get on with it.

This episode basically introduces the next mini-arc. Something seems to be going on in the Ran-province, and Shuurei manages to get permission from Ki Kouki to travel there and check it out. It seems to involve a guy named Son Chouchou, whose role I unfortunately couldn’t pick up. We also see more of the villain for this arc, who seems to have teamed up with the suspicious-looking noble whose name I can’t remember at the time.

Interestingly enough, Ryuuki too will be heading to te Ran-province, along with Shouka. I’m really glad that this guy finally gets some attention again. He was one of my favourite characters whenever he played a major role, so I’ve been a bit disappointed that he’s had so little attention for the past half year.

Now that I think about it, does anyone know how long the second season will last? AniDB says that it’ll end with episode 39, but I just don’t trust that website as an official source. And there is no way that this series will be resolved in six episodes. Of course, that could mean that there’s a third season, waiting to air in the upcoming spring-season. That would be awesome, though I really hope that the building-up of the past months will be worth it.

Posted on 12 January 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Whoa, after the confusing previous episode, the current one totally makes up for it with probably some of the best scenes ever since the end of the Eigetsu-arc. We finally see Juusanhime and Shun together, and we finally learn a bit more about them. Shun’s original name was Shiba Jin, and he lived together with Juusanhime at one point, where she fell in love with him, even though the age-difference between the two was quite large. Then, at one point something happened that caused Jin to change his name, become a prisoner/delinquent/bandit/something and foresake the Ran-clan.

The woman who was with him was indeed Shusui, and only now we see how serious her headaches of the previous episodes were. I didn’t quite catch how he did it, but the fact remains that Shusui lost herself and tried to kill Juusanhime in this episode, if it wasn’t for Ensei, she’d be dead by now. And to think that Shuuei was right there as well, finding out that the woman he longed for tried to kill his own sister.

In the second half of the episode, Shuurei gets basically taken off the case of Juusanhime, because well, she rather failed to protect her. We also see Shuuei, who now really says farewell to Ryuuki. If I had to guess, then there were more things that happened in the past with him, and I guess that he just can’t keep on living like he did for the past two years. I assume that the future episodes will show us more about the guy’s past.

There were a few things I didn’t understand, though. Like, why was the prison with Tantan attacked? And what was the purpose of the match between Ran and Ryuuki?

Posted on 5 January 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


With episodes like this one, I’m glad that people like Impz can churn out reliable summaries. A lot of stuff happened in this episode, but it was also incredibly hard to understand with my limited level of Japanese.

Basically, from what I understood, this episode shows the death of one of the guys who’s after Juusanhime’s life. He’s killed by Shun, in front of Seiga and a whole number of guards. What Seiga was doing there, or what is exact role was in this whole matter, I have no idea of, though. We also get introduced to two new characters: Shun’s assistant (who is quite a good fighter), and a rather young head of the guard. He’ll probably have some kind of small role in the next couple of episode. We never know his name, but there has to be a reason for him to get a unique character-design.

Ensei also returns, when Shuurei runs into him in prison. It seems that he ended up there after he saved Juusanhime from her attackers back then. What’s also interesting is how Juusanhime’s assailants have the same mark on their forehead as Shun. Are they all members of some kind of clan or family, which rivals with the Ran-family, perhaps?

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
I suppose we've had this talk. But; do women have a different type of power fantasies? Or you could essentially do the same thing as any other Isekai but with the genders flipped?
Vonter
@niello - Most power fantasies eventually lead to harems (like Hyrule Warriors). I did like the interactions of the two main characters in Shield Hero. And with Slime is sorta like watching a Let's Play as the main character visually gets more powerful along with his village, but like with Dr. House it seems it's a one man's show.
niello
Shield Hero is actually quite similar to Slime as after a while the MC basically settle down and make his own village to cultivate fighting force. The downside is that at that point it started to turn into a harem.
niello
It'd be nice if the new Franken Fran series could get it an anime, but that chance is probably near 0%...
niello
He does look young though
niello
Didn't Furuya ruined his voice with his smoking habit? It's coarser and deeper now. Judging from his Seiya voice a few years ago.
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

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Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

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Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 13 [And Then Start Running]

Kaze Fui returns, contending with and maybe even beating Mob Psycho for best episode of the week! We have introspection, backstory, and the team coming together to protect their emotionally stunted friend! Lets charge in! Everything about Kaze Fui this week was fantastic. From the narrative to the VA’s. But one I want to hit […]

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The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

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